I want to first disqualify myself by saying I have not had Covid-19. At least not that I know of. Or not yet. But I have ‘had’ cancer. In 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My cancer credentials are more robust however. My husband died of brain cancer when he was 41. I have also known, very personally, what it is like not to breathe. There are a few differences between cancer and corona that I see.
There is no right or wrong way to write a book, but after working with writers for over 15 years to get them published, I do have some rules that I know work. Rules are here to guide you way. These ones are deal-breakers. I have a pdf you can download and print. Read them! Stick them up! Use them!
Book publishing is an old and complex industry. It is both timeless and on-trend. I have been contacted this week by a few publishers looking for ‘new books that speak to the new climate’. They want books that can come out fast and that help people to navigate or find a new way (after lockdown).
Publishers do love to move fast and capture the zeitgeist. They are all looking for the wildfire book that sells 100,000 copies in a few months and pays all the bills.
But, truly, deeply, most publishers are looking for books that can sit on a shelf for many years. They want timeless over trendy. Or at least they want a good mix in their imprint.
They want books that sell and sell and sell. Big sales accrue over time. Look at the '20 bestselling books ever' list below. Some of these books have been selling for hundreds of years – and they still sell.